Drooling – Rhodes 2 Safety

Drooling – Rhodes 2 Safety

Causes of Excessive Dog Drooling

As the owner of a very “drooly” dog, I can tell you for sure that ALL dogs drool (its just that some do it a hell of a lot more than others and some take it to a whole new level!)  Usually with the prospect of food, the flood gates open and before you know it, you find yourself with a small pond at your feet.  Dogs with heavy lips such as Mastiffs, St. Bernards and my own very beautiful Ridgebacks collect the saliva in their chops until it overflows!

Two very healthy rhodesian ridgeback noses displaying no nasal discharge at all Axl aka Janak Jago of Metalrock and Rain aka Voorlooper Rude Not To of Metalrock


Slobber Towel for the showring
Slobber Towel for the showring



Those of us who are owned by such animals just accept it as part of the package and invest in a good slobber towel!


Sudden excessive drooling usually means that the dog is feeling off-colour so its important to get to the bottom of the cause quickly, and certainly before it causes dehydration. As with most things, the time to sit up and take notice is when there is a change from the norm so, if a normally drool-free dog suddenly starts slobbering excessively, its time to have a look in his mouth to see if you can identify the problem.




The most likely culprits for excessive drooling are:

Foreign Objects: Because of the way that our furry friends gulp down everything and anything, its very common for them to get a foreign body lodged rather uncomfortably.  Maybe he has a fragment of bone or stick embedded in his gum, or a chewstick wedged between his back teeth?  Perhaps he’s cut his tongue or managed to get a bit of bone jammed at the roof of his mouth?  Check inside to see what you can find and if possible remove the offending article.  If you cannot do it safely and without causing further harm to your dog, please see your vet for professional help immediately.

Remember, the best way to check in your dog’s mouth is by sitting him down between your legs, facing away from you as you tilt his head backwards.  This position allows you to see right to the back of the throat and across the roof of his mouth.

Examining the inside of the mouth
Open the mouth and look in, right to the back

Tooth Decay or Gum Disease:

As mentioned in yesterday’s post on bad breath, poor dental care can result in a build up of tartar, gum disease, tooth decay, wobbly and fractured teeth.  A broken or decaying tooth could certainly be a cause of excessive drooling to take into consideration so remember to take a sniff of Rover’s breath just in case it gives you a clue.  Remember to open up your dog’s mouth while you check his teeth too.  When closed, a dogs fangs will overlap one another and it is possible to get a fragment of bone or wood lodged painfully against the gum line where the fangs overlap.  If this happens, the fragment can penetrate the gum and cause an ulcer and decaying flesh which will smell badly as well as be painful.

Teething: When puppies grow, they begin to lose their baby teeth as their new adult teeth push through.  Just as with humans, this phase can be quite painful and drooling is very likely at this stage in a puppy’s development.  Giving plenty of good chew toys for your pup to “cut his teeth” on is a good idea and using things like sticks of frozen vegetables such as carrots can really help as the cold soothes the discomfort on the gums.

Tumors: There are tumours that, just as in humans, can arise in your dog’s mouth. Tumours such as these can also be a cause of excessiving drooling and they often go hand in hand with some other problems too such as bleeding from the mouth, depression, shying away from your hand as you stroke the head, difficulty in eating and, once again, the dreaded bad breath.

Other Causes: If, having looked in your dog’s mouth you cannot find anything out of the ordinary, it might be that your dog is feeling a little nauseous.  It is very common to see dogs who are not keen on car-travel drooling excessively on the journey.  If this is the case for you and your dog, check out our previous post all about travel sickness https://rhodes2safety.com/?p=1235

Pain: Is there any chance that your dog is in pain for some reason?  Has he hurt himself, pulled a muscle or could he be suffering with arthritis perhaps?  Could he be starting with bloat or been poisoned by something he’s picked up on a walk?  Could he have an infection such as a poorly ear for example.  Remember to check your dog all over and consider the days events in case you are able to pinpoint any possible pain he could be in.

Liver Disease: Dogs suffering from disease of the liver may also drool excessively.  It is important that if you suspect liver disease in any way you should see your vet as soon as possible.